Protecting Your Wooden Floor
It is important to remember that wood is a natural, living material. Wood responds to light, temperature and humidity and is changed by everyday use. Usually a proper wooden floor takes four seasons to accommodate into your home. It is normal to see some movement in the boards as the seasons change varying the temperature and humidity. Additionally as the floor ages, the colour will mellow and deepen. This is a normal process due to the oxidation of the natural chemicals inside the wood and the ultraviolet light present in daylight.
During the winter, as the central heating is turned on the humidity in the surrounding air will decrease and this will cause the wood to dry and crack or contract creating gaps. A good tip is to use a humidifier throughout the winter months to minimise gaps or cracks.
Don't use household dust cleaners or furniture polish on hardwood or highly polished floors, as this may cause your floor to become very slippery and dull the finish. Also classic detergents (for example 'Cif') will destroy the finishing coats of oil or lacquer. Food or other spills should be wiped immediately, using the manufacturers' recommended cleaner and a soft cloth.
Always use protective felt pads on the legs of the furniture. This will allow furniture to be easily moved without scratching or denting the floor. Although it is safer to pick up the furniture than to slide it over the floor. Over time dirt and grit can become embedded in the felt pads, as they get worn remember to replace them.
Plants in pots
Potted plants placed directly over your wooden floor, even in waterproof saucers, can develop condensation under them and damage the floor. To avoid this, place the pots on trivets or stands, so that air can circulate underneath.
Avoid wearing high heels on your hardwood floor. A lady in stiletto heels exerts 20 times more pressure per square inch!! It is highly recommended to take off stiletto heels on wooden floors!
Dog nails will scratch and dent your floor. It is good to keep your dog's nails trimmed regularly. Immediately clean up pet urine, as it may stain the floor if left too long.
Use coir mats at all exterior doors to prevent bringing in dirt and sand (which can act like sandpaper). You can see here some of our integrated doormats here.
Integrated door mat
Area rugs may be used on high traffic pathways and pivot areas like landings, doorways, in front of sofas, kitchen sink etc. Avoid rubber-backed or non-ventilated rugs which will prevent the wood to take or release moisture.
Daylight causes chemicals in wood to oxidise and will cause the floor to change colour. Move area rugs occasionally and drape or shade large sun-facing windows to avoid any darker areas among lighter areas.
Read the related post on How to Clean Your Wooden Floors.